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Algeria Travel Information

Algeria Travel InformationIn order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Algeria has closed its borders and adopted strict restrictions on domestic traffic as well. Curfews have been introduced, including in the capital of Algiers (from 19 in the evening to 7 in the morning). For more information about coronavirus, see the section Health.

Safety

Terrorism and deprivation of liberty: There is still a risk of terrorism and kidnapping in Algeria. The danger is greatest in the border areas against neighboring countries Mauritania, Mail, Niger, Libya and Tunisia as well as in isolated mountain areas in Kabylia. Security in the big cities in the north has improved in recent years, but the risk of attacks cannot be ruled out. Authorities regularly report that security forces have acted against suspected terrorists/groups in various parts of Algeria. There have been some limited terrorist incidents in recent years, targeting Algerian security forces.

  • Countryaah: Algiers is the capital of Algeria. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

There are few foreign tourists in Algeria, especially traveling on their own. For security reasons, we encourage travelers to use reputable travel agencies, especially in the desert areas. Visitors should only resort to hotels that have good security and emergency procedures, for example at international hotel chains.

Foreigners can be targets for terrorists. On January 16, 2013, Statoil's gas production facility at In Amenas was attacked by an Aqim affiliated terrorist organization. During the attack, 39 hostages lost their lives, five of whom were Norwegian citizens. The attack demonstrated the organization's willingness and ability to take action against vital national/international interests in Algeria. The last high-profile kidnapping was by a French national in Kabylia on September 21, 2014. The Isil-affiliated organization Jund Al Khalifa is believed to be behind.

Crime: Avoid traveling with expensive jewelry, watches and other valuables that may attract unwanted attention. Be especially careful in populous districts of Algiers such as Bachdjarah, Belcourt, El-Harrach and Bab el Oued. Always use a local guide when visiting the Kasbah in Algiers.

It is recommended that you do not walk outdoors after dark. It is illegal to take pictures of police/security forces and military installations. Homosexuality is forbidden. Possession and use of any drug, even in minimal quantities, is strictly prohibited and severely punished.

Citizens with Norwegian-Algerian (dual) citizenship must be aware that Algerian authorities consider them Algerian citizens during their stay in Algeria. This limits the amount of consular assistance the Norwegian authorities can provide.

Road safety and transport: Serious traffic accidents are unfortunately very common, and great care should be taken in traffic. Rent a car with a driver rather than driving yourself. Make sure the doors are always locked. Avoid pirate taxis. Use e.g. taxis that have been "pre-approved" by serious hotels or by other serious players. The authorities have roadblocks in both urban and rural areas. Please note that sometimes terrorists or criminal actors put up false roadblocks in the countryside.

Political unrest/demonstrations: Since the winter of 2019, there has been a significant increase in demonstrations in Algeria. Both resident and visiting Norwegians should avoid large crowds and demonstrations. Follow the advice of local authorities and follow on local media eg. TSA-Algeria and L 'Expression.

Women's security: Algeria is a relatively conservative society. To avoid attracting unwanted attention, the embassy recommends covering at least knees and shoulders. For women traveling alone it may be appropriate to wear a wedding ring. Be careful in public transport, and always be in the back seat of taxis. Unwritten rules have long stated that cafes are only reserved for men. Women (and some men) go to the tea lounge (where coffee is also served). Should you be harassed or run into other problems, scream or create a scene so police or others can come to your rescue.

Sexual orientation: Homosexuality is punishable, and society is generally less tolerant of LGBTIs. Still, it is common for two people of the same sex to share hotel rooms while traveling.

Natural disasters (earthquakes): Several smaller earthquakes are recorded each year. The last major earthquake occurred in January 2018 and measured 5.0 on Richter's scale. The epicenter was approx. 65 km southwest of Algiers and was followed by several minor aftershocks. It is recommended to be alert and mentally prepared for what to do in an earthquake. Experts estimate that approx. 1/3 of those killed in major earthquakes would have survived if they had known how to deal before, during and just after earthquakes.

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Norwegian citizens must have a visa to Algeria. Passport must be valid for at least six months after scheduled departure date. You must apply for a visa in advance of your trip at the Algerian Embassy in Oslo, Sigurd Syrsgt 2, 0273 Oslo. It is not possible to obtain a visa at the airport.

A Norwegian man/woman with an Algerian partner must be aware that common children are considered Algerian citizens by Algerian authorities. This is true even if none of the parents have applied for Algerian citizenship for the child, and even if the child has other citizenship.

Minor Algerian children usually need their father's consent to leave Algeria.

There are strict rules on what to bring to Algeria. Toys similar to weapons, drones and binoculars can, for example. be deprived of Algerian border authorities on arrival. It must be ensured that pets have the necessary vaccines.

Algerian Dinars are a non-convertible currency that can only be exchanged upon arrival in Algeria. The money must be converted back to convertible currency before departure.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): On February 25, the first coronavirus (covid-19) was detected in Algeria. In order to stop the spread of disease, Algeria has closed its borders and adopted strict restrictions on domestic traffic as well. Curfews have been introduced, including in the capital of Alger (from 19 in the evening to 7 in the morning). Further measures may be coming.

For more information, see WHO situational updates on the Coronavirus disease situation report. Also consult local media, e.g. tsa-algerie.com and l'Expression. Information is also available on the website of the Algerian Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends all travel to the border areas towards Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Tunisia as well as the mountain areas of Kabylia east of the capital Algiers.

The Foreign Ministry advises against any travel that is not strictly necessary for the West Saharan refugee camps at Tindouf.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

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The quality of health care in Algeria varies. It's probably best in big cities and in private clinics. One must expect to pay cash for treatment. Credit cards are rarely accepted.

The Institute of Public Health has a recommendation on the type of vaccines recommended for residence and travel to Algeria. The World Health Organization (WHO) has information on the health situation in Algeria.

For trips outside the big cities, it is recommended that you bring your own first aid equipment. Pregnant and chronically ill should examine the local health care in Algeria before any travel. There is a great variety of which medicines are available at all times, and the quality of these. Therefore, bring enough medicine for your journey. Also, always be sure to include a prescription or medical certificate for prescription drugs. The cleanliness of the larger hotels is satisfactory. This also applies to some major restaurants in the big cities. Drinking water must be purchased on bottles.

Practical information

Always carry your passport with you (possibly a passport copy), in case you are asked to identify yourself in one of the many checkpoints inside and outside Algiers.

In addition to local Arabic dialect, many (well) speak French. Both languages ​​are used in public administration. French is the most common business language. Some younger people speak English.

The current is 220 volts, and you use the same outlet as in Norway. The voltage can vary, and power outages occur especially in the summer. Bring a flashlight.

Internet cafes are widespread. Larger hotels also have wifi. As of summer 2014, there has been 3G coverage in the big cities. The national Internet domain is.dz, national telephone code +213. If you are going to buy a local mobile subscription, you should spend plenty of time on this.

Almost only international hotels and some major restaurants in Algiers accept credit cards. Otherwise you pay with cash (dinars). Mastercard/Visa cards can be used for local currency withdrawals in most ATMs.

Friday and Saturday are holidays. Opening hours on weekdays are usually 0800-1200 and 1300-1700. Grocery stores have longer opening hours. Some restaurants also close on Fridays.

Many Algerian holidays are moving because they follow the Muslim lunar calendar. The end of the fasting month of Ramadan (Aid El Fitr) and the day of sacrifice (Aid El Adha) are among the most important holidays. New Year's Day, May 1 (Workers' Day), July 5 (Independence Day) and November 1 (Revolution Day) are other holidays.

Time difference: At summertime, Norway is one hour ahead.

Algeria has a mix of Islamic and secular laws. The Islamists have a high level of support in the poorer districts of the big cities, and here traditional Islamic attire is more in use than in the Algerian business areas, where the attire is more western. Both women and men are advised to dress discreetly without showing too much skin. One should show respect for religious symbols and customs.

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